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Pike girls basketball reaches first state final

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The Pike girls basketball team celebrates after reaching the state finals for the first time in school history. (WTTV February 18, 2017)

RICHMOND, Ind. – The Pike Red Devils made school history, reaching the girls state basketball finals for the first time ever.

Angel Baker led the way as Pike took down Columbus North 52-49 in the class 4A semi-state at Richmond High School, but not before a fight. The Bull Dogs, looking for a third straight title appearance rallied from an 11-point deficit to take the lead late in the third quarter, but Pike responded with a 12-0 run.

A Baker steal and layup made it 45-36 Pike when North rallied. Back-to-back three balls cut into the lead and the Dogs had a chance to tie it.  Maliah Howard-Bass put up a three-point shot that was off with a few seconds left and Pike celebrated the victory.

Impressive, especially after the Red Devils saw their season suspended last year after a fight with Ben Davis during the regular season.

“A lot of people doubted us.  We believed in ourselves, but we came back and got the job done,” said Baker a junior leader.  “I love my team.”

Coach Bob Anglea appreciated his team’s response to not only last season’s issues, but to the Columbus North comeback.

“All the way down the stretch we played nothing, but close games,”  Anglea said.  “Told them on the last possession, we got this.  Just need a stop.  They didn’t panic, they’ve been there before and they got it done.”

Pike will play Homestead for the state championship next Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

In class 3A, three-time defending state champion Heritage Christian was upset, losing 57-54 to South Bend St. Joseph’s, while North Harrison beat Danville 65-43.

Covenant Christian saw its attempt at a second straight final appearance in class 2A fall short, losing 65-59 to Eastern High of Pekin.

Tindley came up short to Wood Memorial 59-50 in class 1A.

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